Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) Film Review

Directed by Jason Reitman (Juno; Up in the Air; Labor Day; Thank You for Smoking) who is the son of Ivan Reitman, director of the 1984 film Ghostbusters; starring Mckenna Grace (Ready Player One; Malignant; I, Tonya; Gifted; Captain Marvel; The Handmaid’s Tale (TV series)), Finn Wolfhard (It; The Goldfinch; Stranger Things (TV series)), Carrie Coon (The Nest; The Post; Avengers: Infinity War; Fargo (TV series)) and Paul Rudd (Ant-Man; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Avengers: Endgame; Night at the Museum).

Sci Adventure comedy; 124 mins; 12+

Callie (Carrie Coon) is in arrears for her rent on her apartment; when she is left her father’s ramshackle house in his will, she ups and moves there along with her children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace). She hardly knew her father when he was alive and he hardly knew the townsfolk either, apart from when buying equipment from the hardware store.

Review Film Ghostbusters: Afterlife

The children start to explore their new surroundings. Trevor gets a part-time job at a fast food outlet and starts to hang out with other teenagers atop the mountain; he also uncovers and old car in the barn and set about trying to get it to work. Meanwhile, Phoebe, a science nerd, is enrolled for summer school under the tutelage of Mr Grooberson (Paul Rudd) and also make a friend. As she starts exploring the old house, she stumbles upon some equipment in the house and in the shed, as well as some photographs and books; Phoebe puts two and two together and works out that her grandfather was one of the original Ghostbusters, after watching one of the original ads (from the original 1984 film, Ghostbusters).

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The town starts to experience seismic shocks, which is strange considering it is nowhere near any known fault lines. Soon Phoebe (the real star of the film), Trevor and their friends, start to experience other strange phenomena and see ghosts, and soon they are rescuing their mother, Callie, Mr Grooberson and the rest of the townsfolk from impending doom.

Review Film Ghostbusters: Afterlife

A delightful sequel that pays homage to the original 1984 film in many ways, both directly and directly. It is set in a mid-western town which means that it doesn’t need to scale the heights of a large city, e.G. New York, but the setting suits it down to the ground. The Marshmallow Man (or men, in this case) make a reappearance in a series of hilarious sequences, and the storyline stays true to that of the original film too, thanks to the writing of Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman.

While Finn Wolfhard plays the older brother, but certainly not in a stereotypical way, and it is great to see him on screen while we await the next series of Stranger Things, it is Mckenna Grace that carries the show, playing the nerdy Phoebe down to a tee. Phoebe does not smile that much, but Mckenna Grace has an aura that is magnetising; it helps that her character seems to be winning throughout, in that she has made a friend (she had none before) and is in her element in solving a scientific-cum-sci-fi puzzle. Clever dialogue and funny scenes throughout, particular concerning the (mini) marshmallow men.

This will delight fans of the original and will also be entirely suitable for good family entertainment (much, much better than the 2016 remake).

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Currently screening at Kinepolis in Luxembourg.

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